Introducing the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV)
A strong indication of the UK Government’s commitment to low carbon vehicles is the formation of OLEV. This cross-government team comprises members from the Department for Transport (DfT), the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as well as industry secondees. OLEV was established specifically to position the UK as a world leader in the development, demonstration, manufacture and use of ultra-low carbon automotive technology. OLEV has oversight of programmes worth £400m which include:
“Plug-In Car Grant”
£43m consumer incentive scheme for EVs and PHEVs, offering up to £5,000 per vehicle. This incentive scheme directly addresses the premium cost associated with Low Emission Vehicles. This grant, first available from January 2011, reduces the cost of eligible cars by 25% up to a maximum of £5,000 for both private and business buyers.
“Plug-In Van Grant”
Business and consumer incentive scheme for EV and PHEV commercial vehicles of 3.5t or less. Offering up to 20% or a maximum of £8,000 per vehicle, this scheme similarly addresses the premium cost associated with Low Emission Vehicles. The grant first became available from February 2012.
“Plugged in Places”
£30m infrastructure support, offering match funding to 3 to 6 locations in the UK to support an electric charging network. £8.8m has been allocated to the first round winners who are the North East, London and Milton Keynes.
Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVPP)
£20m incentive for trials of vans in public fleets, commenced in 2009. Potential for a further £30m if early results are successful.
Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform (LCVIP)
£20m to support low carbon vehicle research, development and demonstration projects
Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstration Programme (ULCV)
£25m for consortia to deliver low carbon vehicles to consumers across eight locations in the UK. Consortia bids bring together car manufacturers, power companies, Regional Development Agencies, councils and academic institutions.
Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Demonstration Programme
£7.2m for capital funding for a Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Demonstration programme.
Other support for EVs includes:
Green bus fund
£30m fund to enable bus companies and local authorities to buy new low carbon buses. Funding will cover 349 vehicles, including 55 electric vehicles.
UK Tax incentives
- No Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) (the UK’s circulation tax) for electric vehicles, VED for other vehicles is graduated by CO2 emissions www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk.
- First year enhanced capital allowances for electric cars bought for fleets.
- 100% first year rate enhanced capital allowances for electric vans (from April 2010).
- An exemption for electric vans from van benefit charge for five years. (£3,000)
- An exemption for electric cars from company car tax for five years (from April 2010), with a reduced 10% company car tax rate for cars with emissions of 120g/km or lower.
Transport for London, (TfL)
TfL is extremely proactive in encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles in London. The Mayor has unveiled the London Electric Delivery Plan which highlights the aims of 25,000 charge points to be installed across London by 2015, 100,000 EV’s on London streets as soon as possible and 1,000 electric vehicles to be bought for the Greater London Authority fleet by 2015. London offers the following incentives:
- Congestion charge: Free of charge for Electric Vehicles saving up to £2,000 per annum.
- Free parking: Certain London boroughs offer free parking for electric vehicles.
- Charging infrastructure: Over 200 charge points already installed, plans to install 25,000 charge points by 2015.
- Plugged in Places: TfL will bid for the OLEV infrastructure scheme and are working with industry to achieve this. E.g. A world-first EV demonstration site is planned.
Energy Technologies Institute, ETI [Public, Private Partnership]
ETI is a UK based company formed from global industries and UK government. It is part of the Low Carbon Innovation Group and can offer expertise in:
Market research: ETI will conduct the world’s most extensive evaluation of consumer attitudes to plug-in vehicles, its Plug-in Vehicle Economics and Infrastructure project in 2009
Infrastructure: The formation of an intelligent architecture advisory group, bringing together global system integrators and major vehicle recharging network providers